Red Sox still figuring out what they have in pen

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Red Sox still figuring out what they have in pen

BOSTON With three perfect innings from relievers Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla, and Alfredo Aceves the Red Sox bullpen has a sterling 1.66 ERA in 11 games in May, allowing 10 earned runs over 54 13 innings. That three of those runs and one inning belong to outfielder Darnell McDonald makes those numbers even more impressive a 1.18 ERA.

In all, it has been a dramatic turnaround for the bullpen collectively, and for some relievers, individually from the first month of season.

Still, manager Bobby Valentine said after Saturdays win over the Indians, You still wonder when you go to the bullpen.

That was not a knock on the pens performance. Its just part of the learning process for all involved.

You got guys who arent battle tested so we got to figure out what they can do and how they can do it, Valentine said. Could Andrew Miller pitch three days in a row? We found out yes. That was the first time weve seen that. What kind of bounce-back capabilities Rich Hill has after the injury Tommy John surgery in June. Were going to figure that out. And other little things like that. Thats what a seasons for.

I think were starting to figure things out.

Theres no set point in a season when that happens, Valentine said. Its all part of the season-long progression and evolution. The 2011 St. Louis Cardinals are his poster children for that kind of progression.

I think it happens with most seasons, he said. And again, maybe its been different around here because everythings been so set for so many years. Most teams in most seasons continue to build their team as the season goes on. They continue to get together, they continue to tweak things, change things, make things better to get to the finish line.

I mentioned it before but I think the classic case in point maybe was St. Louis last year. They won the world championship and this time were in totally disarray. They were just about releasing their closer, I think, about this time, maybe it was little before now. Things happen that way.

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.